Established in 1975 for free speech

PRESS RELEASE

Cape Town Press Club's response to recent Cape Times’ reports and social media comments

 

Tuesday 14 August 2018


The Cape Town Press Club Committee has noted a handful of false, inaccurate and misleading remarks made on social media, some of which were regurgitated verbatim by the Cape Times nonetheless, in two articles run on Friday and Monday. We must emphasise that The Cape Town Press Club is a voluntary organisation. We do not represent Cape Town’s media. Although we take up issues of concern to the media, such as the defence of journalists or laws that threaten our freedom of speech, most of our business is simply to provide a newsworthy platform for speakers to air their views and answer questions from the media and concerned citizens.

The current committee is made up of the eight people in good standing who volunteered to be on it and were nominated and approved at the AGM. They were not elected over and above any other members as implied by reports. The new committee only met for the first time on Monday 6 August and at that meeting it was discussed and agreed that the committee co-opt members in the interests of a more diverse representation to volunteer their time for the committee. This was five days before the Cape Times started its “exposé” and before it solicited comment from the ANC calling for a review of the composition of the committee. As stated clearly at the AGM, the constitution says: the “Committee reserves the right to co-opt additional individuals from the Club's membership, especially to ensure media representation in the spirit of Section 2”; section 2 says: “The objectives of the Club shall be to promote the professional, social and other interests of Cape Town's Press, media and communications industries, and thereby to endeavour to enhance, uphold and defend the fundamental rights of freedom of speech, conscience and association.”

We believe social transformation is part of the spirit of section 2. We have uploaded a list of corrections to inaccurate Twitter posts, social media comments and Cape Times’ reporting, which you might have seen, on this link: Response to Cape Times and social media statements and also pasted below for your convenience.

It is not an exhaustive list of the factual and other errors you may have read. Regarding the Cape Times reporting, the press club would normally have considered approaching the Press Ombudsman, but Independent quit the Press Council in 2016 and is no longer bound by its ethics.

The Cape Town Press Club Committee
14 August 2018